Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

Reserve Ale BBA Porter by Cricket Hill Brewing Company

You know…it has been almost 5 days since I hinted that Ms. sex-pot Scarlett Johansson should give me a ringie ding ding.  I have yet to hear from you…I’m not really sure why.  I am a King after all, I have the #1 blog all across the land (well maybe not), and I am drop dead gorgeous.  Just ask anyone…

Anyways…what a beautiful October day it was and there is more of the same for tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday.  If you didn’t get out today and you live in NJ, NY, PA, etc…shame on you.  Over to New Hope we ventured for a ride on the canal then I had my wife drop me off at Six Mile Run Reservoir and I rode some sweet singletrack there and to top it off…I pedaled my ass home on the roads(boo).  All in all…another 21 miles today and with the 20 I did yesterday…my ass is sore.  So what better thing to do then sit at my PC and blog about another beer.  I think I need a pillow on this chair…and maybe for my loving wife to spread some A&D ointment all over my buttocks…

Beer #314  is Reserve Ale BBA Porter by Cricket Hill Brewing Company from Fairfield, New Jersey.  They brew this American Porter with an ABV of 6.7%.  The BBA in the name stands for bourbon barrel aged and the Reserve means that these are special beers Cricket Hill brews.  They only brew 4 Reserve Ales a year.  I have another lined up for tomorrow, an American Brown Ale.

This beer poured a dark brown, it could have been black.  The head was light brown and quite large and very fizzy.  The nose was very woodsy with loads of vanilla.  Did I mention this was aged in bourbon barrels?  Well it was and it smelled like bourbon/scotch/whiskey.   Take your pick for they all kind of smell similar to me but then again…I’m not a connoisseur of those types of alcohol.  It tasted exactly like it smelled with the inclusion of a bit of chocolate.  It had a very slight burnt ending to it.  It was a bit thin body wise for my liking for an American Porter and was quite harsh mouthfeel wise with a nice amount of stinging carbonation.  Even know it smelled quite like the alcohol bomb…that was not really the case.

For me…this didn’t work as an American Porter.  I just didn’t dig this at all.   It was more like a bourbon flavored beer.  I like a coffee flavor in my porters but this had none of it and it was just a bit too thin.  Lets hope tomorrows from Cricket Hill is better.

Oh yeah…I am really contemplating doing another mountain bike ride tomorrow at Nockamixon in Pennsylvania.  They are having their grand opening of their newly cut trails.  Free food, free drink, and awesome riding.  I’m there…I just hope my derriere can take it…

Rating: D

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India Pale Ale by Climax Brewing Company

I was jonesing for something a bit different than all the Oktoberfest and Pumpkin beers I have had…so I chose an American IPA.  I am also hoping for a bunch of other things like a win by the Yankees tonight, a loss by the Phillies, the Mets to finally decide they are nothing better than a Minor League team, & Scarlett Johansson (sexy as all get up) deciding she wants to live with me & my wife in a faux-polygamist marriage.  Wait…what?  A man can dream…no?

Anyways…I pulled out all the stops for a Yankee win tonight as you can see in the above photo.  My Don Mattingly Yankee jersey, my well-worn Yankee cap, my Yankee hefeweizen glass, my Yankee underoos…OK…you can’t see them in the photo but trust me…I have them on.  Can you tell I’m amped up for this game tonight?  I think I need a beer to calm myself down…

And that beer, #310, is India Pale Ale by Climax Brewing Company from Roselle Park , New Jersey.  Their version of an American IPA has an ABV of 6%.  I wonder if I should have picked up a beer from New York?

Into my Yankees hefeweizen glass went this hazy amber with a bit of orange color to it brew.  The cream colored head was massive & fluffy and left excellent lacing behind.  I dipped my nose into the glass…pine  and caramel and floral and bread and citrus and even some grass greeted said nose.  I took a sip…first thought was yum…white grapefruit.  There was a nice slightly sweet caramel maltiness and a bit of a bread like flavor that mixed well with the slightly bitter hops.  Towards the back end of this it had a pine like flavor and it finished with the same taste and acidic sensation (not truly acidic..something similar) as you get when drinking white grapefruit juice.  It had a medium body and coupled with lower amounts of carbonation made this quite smooth and creamy.  This was extremely drinkable…I know they make this in growlers and I think I wouldn’t have any issues finishing one off.

Quite simply…this was very, very good.  This is my type of beer for sure.  American IPAs FTW (for the win)!!!  Oh yeah…lets go Yanks!!!  And Scarlett…if you are reading this (I know you are)…call me…

Rating: A

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Oktoberfish by Flying Fish Brewing Company

My last beer in my Oktoberfest fest…will this top the Brooklyn Oktoberfest?  Lets open it, pour it, and taste it…shall we?

Beer #308 is Oktoberfish by Flying Fish Brewing Company.  Brewed in Cherry Hill, New Jersey this Marzen/Oktoberfest has an ABV of 5.5%.

Was I surprised when it poured an amber color with a white head?  No.  Was I surprised this had a light nose with aromas of caramel and toast?  Nope.  I wasn’t shocked by the taste either…slightly caramel malts with a toasted bread like flavor.  It had a bit of a nuttiness near the end also.  One thing that set this apart from the other Oktoberfests I have had was that the carbonation was heavier in this medium bodied brew.

This wasn’t bad but didn’t set itself apart in any way and I wasn’t a big fan of the heavier carbonation here.  My Oktoberfest fest is now officially done and Brooklyn Oktoberfest was my favorite.

Rating: C

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Extra Special Bitter Ale by Climax Brewing Company

I took one last venture out to make sure I have all of the essential supplies I will need for the oncoming hurricane.  Ice – check…beer – check…potato chips & onion dip – check, looks like I’m good to go.

Beer #272 or today’s jug ‘o beer as I like to call growlers, is Extra Special Bitter Ale by Climax Brewing Company from Roselle Park, New Jersey.  Their version of an Extra Special/Strong Bitter Ale has an ABV of 5.5%.

The color of this ESB was a nice amber with one finger width off-white head.  The nose was interesting, very yeasty smelling and bread like with a citrus (orange) aroma, grass and sweet caramel malts.  I thought I may have picked up on grapes in the nose too.  The caramel malts kicked off the taste and about halfway through the hops kick in with a fruity, almost spicy flavor.  Odd that the fruit wasn’t citrus but more like grapes that I picked up in the nose.  It finished with a toasted bread taste.  It had a nice bitterness at the end and finished up a bit dry.  There was ample carbonation in this medium bodied brew.

This was another really good beer that I will be enjoying for the rest of the afternoon.  After all, there is no sense in letting the growler go to waste.   Climax Brewing Company is, in my opinion, one of the best craft brewers in New Jersey.  If you happen to be lucky enough to be where they sell their growlers or find their beers on draft…give them a try.

Rating: B+

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Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin by River Horse Brewing Company

Earthquake day here on the east coast.  A 5.9 quake centered in Virginia was felt as far away as New Hampshire from reports.  I was at work (on my lunch break tinkering with my new bike) at the time and I didn’t feel a thing.  My co-workers said it lasted for about 30 seconds and the building was doing some odd things.  Again…I felt nothing.  Deep down inside, I wanted to feel it…but no such luck.  Oh well…maybe next time but to be quite honest, I’m not sure I want a next time.  At least I got out of work early.

On my way home I stopped at the liquor store and noticed quite a few brewers have their Pumpkin Ales ready for purchase.  So I decided to try one.  Beer #268 is Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin by River Horse Brewing Company from Lambertville, New Jersey.  This Pumpkin Ale has an ABV of 8.1%

Into my River Horse pint glass I poured.  I was greeted by a nice dark amber brew with one finger width cream colored head.  The nose was kind of lame.  I love just about everything pumpkin and all I really got from the nose was brown sugar.  Where is the pumpkin and nutmeg (or any spice for that matter)…I guess I was hoping this would smell like liquid pumpkin pie.  A deeper whiff also revealed an alcohol presence.  I took a sip and the taste that stuck out most was caramel.  The alcohol also made an appearance.  It wasn’t a horrible tasting beer by any stretch but I think if you gave it to me without me knowing it was a Pumpkin Ale, I would be hard pressed to identify it as such.  The body was nice, it had a medium feel with the carbonation on the low side making this quite creamy.

I was disappointed, I wanted pumpkin but didn’t get it and for that alone, I say give it to the peasants!

Rating: D

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Hopfish India Pale Ale by Flying Fish Brewing Company

Beer #264 is Hopfish India Pale Ale by Flying Fish Brewing Company from my home state of New Jersey.  This English India Pale Ale with an ABV of 6.7% is brewed in Cherry Hill.

Hopfish poured with an yellowish amber color with a nice off white head that dissipated very quickly.  It had a nice light floral hoppy aroma.  There was a kind of fruitiness going in there also.  The caramel of the malts stuck out more in the taste then the hops.  Towards the back end there was a pine like flavor.  I didn’t get any fruit like flavor in the taste like I did in the nose.  It had a lighter than medium body with lower amounts of carbonation.  It was sort of smooth and didn’t have much of a bitterness to it.  It was quite an easy drinker.

Fairly run of the mill brew.  I still prefer American IPAs over their British counterparts mostly for their bigger, bolder hop profiles.

Rating: C

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Hop-A-Lot-Amus by River Horse Brewing Company

Why is it that an HP Proliant DL380 G3 server has to way like 100 pounds?  OK, it may not actually weigh that much but it sure seems that way after moving and installing one today.  I’m quite proud of it as it is my “baby”.  It is the first one I have built and tweaked to my work places standards.  I think I will celebrate…with a beer of course.

Beer #242 is Hop-A-Lot-Amus by River Horse Brewing Company from Lambertville, New Jersey.  They brew this American Double IPA with an ABV of 8.5%.  River Horse just might be the closest craft brewer to me…check that…it may be Triumph in Princeton.  Oh well…lets get tasting.

Into my River Horse pint glass this went and it had a nice hazy orange amber color to it with a nice thick off white head (fantastic lacing did it leave behind).  The nose was a bit muted with a grapefruit juice type aroma being the most noticeable.  Couple that with a bit of grass and a faint hint of pine and you have the workings of an American Double IPA but I wasn’t getting a whole lot of malty goodness that I thought I would be picking up on.  It was pretty solid taste wise with the pine hop flavors up front and then mid drink the sweetness of the caramel malts took over. It had a nice bitterness, it wasn’t in your face over the top bitter, just very pleasant.  The body was bordering on being heavy, almost sticky, with a moderate amount of carbonation.  It had a creaminess to it that I really like…and it coated the mouth.  The ABV snuck up on me and before I knew it, I was feeling quite happy.  🙂

Very nice beer and I think one of the better ones from River Horse, if not their best that I have tasted.  Shame it couldn’t reach that Kingly promised land but the nose for me knocked it down a peg or two.  Either way, if you dig Double IPAs, I think you would like this.

Rating: B+

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